F1gur471v3ly 5p34k1ng? How your brain can read words made of numbers

Checking your work for errors is a tricky business. And that’s because you’re brain is fiendishly clever and will ‘make good’ the word even if it’s written incorrectly. I’m sure you’re familiar with the paragraph below where the first and last letters of the word are correct but the rest of the letters are muddled. And you can still read it, right?

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteers be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

So how about if the letters are replaced with numbers?

7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15.

It’s hard for the first few words isn’t it? And then it feels quite easy.

So if you’re reading your work back and checking for errors, chances are you’re going to miss some, as your brain autocorrects as you read.

Ideally, what you need is a proofreader to proofread all your work. Or for a cheaper option follow these 12 Steps to Perfect Copy.


  • Andy Nattan
    Posted at 12:38h, 10 February Reply

    w0w 5ar4h, 7h47’5 4 gr347 p057!

    But never, ever make me type like that again…

  • Ben Locker
    Posted at 12:51h, 10 February Reply

    Figurinely spanking? What’s that? 😉

    • Rochelle Alvaro
      Posted at 01:47h, 30 October Reply

      It’s Figuratively Speaking, hehe

  • Gareth Cook
    Posted at 15:42h, 10 February Reply

    Nice post Sarah. A quirky, quick way to make an excellent point. It reminded me of CASIOSpk – when we used to type in 771077345 or more commonly 58008 into our calculators and turn them upside down to reveal the ‘hilarious’ results.

    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 15:57h, 10 February Reply

      Oh yeah. I remember 7100553 – Esso Oil. There’s a whole bunch of people reading this now and thinking ‘what on earth are they talking about?’

      • Gareth Cook
        Posted at 16:05h, 10 February Reply

        Phew! Thank goodness I’m not alone. Thought I was risking showing me age, but I’m beyond caring about that. Just imagine how our young minds would have been blown by being able to type on a telephone!

        • Sarah Turner
          Posted at 16:14h, 10 February Reply

          I know! To be honest I still use FaceTime on the iPhone even now and think of Star Trek.

  • Oliver Radini
    Posted at 17:39h, 10 February Reply

    The more I proof the more I enjoy it… and it’s certainly very useful. This post illustrates the point very well.

    • Max Taylor
      Posted at 20:12h, 21 June Reply

      Thnx for posting tht, now im gunna put it on my profile and amaze my friends (u may not get credit sawwy) TY SO MUCH 54R4H

  • Ritvik Sharma
    Posted at 06:00h, 22 October Reply

    Thanks. I wanted a username so bad on instagram and using your post I made it out of numbers. Thank you. It’s 4u7umn though ?.

  • Azee Yadav
    Posted at 13:02h, 02 December Reply

    This message serves to prove how our minds can do amazing things! Impressive things! In the beginning it was hard but now, on this line your mind is reading it automatically without even thinking about it, be proud! Only certain people can read this! Please forward if you can read this????????

  • Lilly
    Posted at 03:32h, 08 January Reply


  • Ed English
    Posted at 09:48h, 04 August Reply

    1 r3411y 10v3 r34d1ng 1h353 1h3yr3 411 50 c001 🙂

  • naghan
    Posted at 06:11h, 14 April Reply

    7n3y’r3 5o c001

  • Jules Cappello
    Posted at 01:59h, 07 May Reply


  • joseph seth fowler
    Posted at 13:22h, 09 July Reply

    1 l1k3 th1s sh4ra 1 c4n 7ext 17 m0re cl34rly g00d j06 0n th1s

  • Samantha Brown
    Posted at 07:37h, 18 May Reply

    I re411y l1k3d th15 p057 th4nk5 5o much! N0w 1 w1ll b3 4913 7o 53nd things 5o much m0r3 3451ly! (h4h4 1 m34n tr1ck13r!)


  • Michael Langston
    Posted at 23:28h, 06 January Reply

    lol. i love reading these

  • Emilia Evans
    Posted at 22:09h, 25 March Reply

    1 h093 p30p13 w111 r34d th15 4nd b3 11k3, “1 3nj0y3d th15” b3c4u53 th15 t00k 50m3 t1m3. 101 1 3v3n m4d3 101 0ut of 0n3 z3r0 0n3. s33 th4t?

  • Ximena Hernandez
    Posted at 22:13h, 25 March Reply

    0mg th3 cr1ng3 ?

  • colinryan
    Posted at 02:24h, 10 June Reply

    1 10v3 7h353

  • Monina Aviles
    Posted at 08:01h, 23 August Reply

    MY 5ON, WH3N H3 W45 53V3N Y34R5 OLD 1 G4V3 7H15 P4RAGR4PH 7O H1M 4ND 1 W45 4M423D TH4T H3 R34D 7H3 7H1Ng!

  • Gill Smith
    Posted at 07:59h, 23 September Reply

    I love this and use it all the time to create passwords. I don’t always use the same numbers for substitutions, eg 4 could be A or H, I mix it up a bit which means I occasionally need a second go at a password but that’s OK.

  • Jesse
    Posted at 01:41h, 11 January Reply

    What’s this called tho? The ability to do this?

  • tan
    Posted at 07:18h, 03 October Reply

    0 1 63t it

  • Luna Lee
    Posted at 07:22h, 03 October Reply

    1 und3rs74nd 1t s0 unq1c3

  • vrb
    Posted at 12:35h, 20 November Reply

    It is called “pattern recognition”

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.